Padres Prospect Interview: Rey Garramone

A dying breed – Rey Garramone was signed by the San Diego Padres as a draft-and-follow out of Central Arizona junior college prior to the 2006 MLB Draft and began the year in Arizona. With the draft-and-follow set to go extinct next season, the Padres hoped they cashed in.

You signed as a draft-and-follow, went out to Arizona – it seemed to be a learning year for you with a long season.

Rey Garramone: It just kept going and it seemed like it went on forever. I have been throwing the ball since last fall and then in Arizona. It was a difficult year.

What was it that made you decide to sign out of the JuCo ranks? Obviously the Padres were interested but was there anything else?

Rey Garramone: I think it was more of a family matter. JuCo was great and I wanted to stay there for another year and learn a little more. I was still only 18 when I signed but the family and I thought it was the right time to sign to try and get better.

Have you noticed that since you have been with the Padres organization that you have actually learned more here than in high school or college?

Rey Garramone: Yeah, I have learned a lot more. I feel that if I went back to college I would have pitched a lot better than I did because in college I was more of a thrower but now I am learning how to use my pitches, learning how to stay on balance – I was falling off a lot in college and now they are trying to teach me to stay on balance more. I have been learning a lot since I have been here.

Is there anything else specific that Razor has been able to help you with out here in Arizona?

Rey Garramone: Razor is the man. He has helped me a lot. He just figures out little things I do wrong and fixes them and all of a sudden I throw better. Like falling off, my head tilting. He notices all of that stuff.

Talk about winning the Arizona Rookie League Championship.

Rey Garramone: That was a great feeling. We all just wanted it real bad. We didn't want to go through the whole year and end up losing to a team we knew we were better than. It was a great year.

Talk about your season on a personal level. You worked as both a starter and a reliever.

Rey Garramone: I have never really been a reliever before so it is kind of weird just jumping up and starting to get ready. It is different. I have to get used to it. It was a tough year. I didn't have a good year.

Was it that you were tired coming in or something else that affected you?

Rey Garramone: I don't want to make excuses. I was walking a couple of guys, falling behind counts – I think I let the leadoff guy on in every inning so that hurt me. That is what hurt me the most, allowing the leadoff guy to get on base every inning.

Did you feel like you were having a better comfort level out of the stretch versus the windup?

Rey Garramone: It is weird because I have never felt comfortable out of the stretch. I never loaded enough so I never wanted to pitch out of the stretch. And this year, for some reason, I was pitching better out of the stretch than I was my windup. I felt like I was everywhere with my windup and couldn't throw down in the zone. Somehow in the stretch I was throwing more strikes and getting more outs.

It is almost like you have two different sets of mechanics. You have one for the stretch and another different set for the windup. How difficult is it to keep those all in line?

Rey Garramone: It is pretty tough. Now, I am used to throwing out of the stretch a little more and now my windup is off, off-timing. It is a big difference so you have to get a lot of repetition on both so you can conquer them both.

What was your schedule like this year?

Rey Garramone: I throw two innings here and there and then throw a sideline and throw two more again.

What is your repertoire like?

Rey Garramone: I throw a two-seam fastball, a curveball that is more like a slurve, and I am working on a changeup. That is the big reason I am in Instructs. I hit 92 on my fastball.

How is the development of the changeup coming along and what is the trick?

Rey Garramone: I have been throwing it but it wasn't doing too much. I am learning it here and that is why I am here.

I asked everyone about it. I even asked left-handers how they throw it. I asked Carrillo and all those dudes how they throw it. Most of them tell me it is a feel pitch and you just have to feel it but it is a tough pitch to learn. I have been learning it since college. I didn't need it in high school but now you need it a little bit more. I still can't get it to work.

It is too hard. It has the movement on it but it is too hard.

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